David Thompson: Orbital Sciences Seeks to Extend Launch Partnership With Skybox Imaging

David Thompson
David Thompson

Orbital Sciences will launch Skybox Imaging’s imaging and spacecraft into space in late 2015 under a contract of an undisclosed value.

The commercial Minotaur-C space launch vehicle will be used to transport six Skybox spacecraft into low-Earth orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Orbital said Thursday.

Orbital’s small-class launch vehicles unit within its launch systems group will oversee the mission.

“We have offered options for additional launch services to support the development of Skybox’s business, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to forge a long-term, multi-launch relationship with their team,” said David Thompson, Orbital’s chairman and CEO.

The Minotaur-C vehicle will be integrated with four ATK-built solid rocket motors as well as a propulsion system, electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system, navigation sensors and radio frequency parts.

The rocket will also work to incorporate the SkySat satellite dispenser, which will be developed and tested at Orbital’s Chandler, Ariz.-based facility.

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